Are you looking for a new eCommerce revenue stream? Dropshipping is a popular method of earning money on eBay that does not require maintaining inventory or shipping products. With the right plan for dropship selling on eBay, you can make impressive profits without having to do a lot of the legwork yourself. Keep reading to learn more about dropshipping and tips to make your business a success.
What is dropshipping?
In traditional sales, a seller keeps a certain amount of product on hand to sell and distribute. Inventory is purchased in bulk to benefit from wholesale prices. On the other hand, unsold inventory eats into a seller’s profits. The pressure of selling all units can weigh on a seller and cause them to lower prices beyond the point of making a profit.
Dropshipping offers a different approach to selling products online. Sellers can purchase products at wholesale prices on an individual basis. They can then sell these products online to earn a profit. If it sounds too good to be true, it is important to realize that dropshipping requires time, research, and dedication.
Pros of dropship selling on eBay
Sellers who dropship never handle products or worry about keeping up with inventory. They list products on their own online store after sourcing them from wholesalers. Once an order is placed, they fulfill the order with the wholesaler and have the product shipped directly to the customer.
If it is done properly, dropshipping can create an efficient workflow and revenue stream for sellers. Benefits of dropshipping include the following.
- Sellers never have to handle products themselves.
- There is no need to worry about maintaining inventory.
- You do not have to package or ship products because the wholesale supplier sends the product directly to the customer.
- Sellers often do not have to worry about taking product photos or writing descriptions. Most suppliers will already have this content available.
- Dropshipping is allowed on eBay.
Cons of dropshipping on eBay
There are some drawbacks to dropshipping, making it imperative to do your research. While the limited interactions with the products and shipping can be beneficial, they also provide a lower level of control. Cons of dropshipping include the following.
- You have to build relationships with trustworthy wholesalers.
- A bad wholesale distributor can wipe out an entire product or group of products from your listings.
- You rely on another person to ship customer orders properly and efficiently.
- You are ultimately responsible for a bad customer experience.
- Products typically average profits of only a few dollars each.
If you are interested in dropshipping, keep reading for valuable tips on maximizing your profits and ensuring a quality customer experience with every order.
Tips to start dropshipping
Dropshipping is not an easy business model or get-rich-quick scheme. It requires work just like any other method of making money. Your success in dropshipping will mainly rest on how diligent you are with your wholesale supplier and maintaining your listings.
Set up your eBay and PayPal accounts
This is more of a step in the dropshipping process than a tip, but it is still worth mentioning. You can’t dropship on eBay without an account that you have verified. Also, you need a secure method of sending and receiving payments. PayPal is the preferred payment method for eBay, and it is secure enough to use with your suppliers. Once your accounts are set up, you are ready to start selling on eBay.
Prioritize Reliability Over Popularity
It can be tempting to follow the current trends and offer the best-selling items or most popular products. This method often works for traditional eBay sellers who are looking to boost profits for their online store. However, when it comes to dropshipping, you may want to prioritize a product with a reliable supply over-popularity.
You will have little success selling products that do not have a guaranteed supply. While you may not need to maintain inventory when drop selling, you must ensure your supplier is capable of doing so. The most popular products to sell on eBay may not be high in availability at wholesale prices.
Focus Your Time on Sourcing Suppliers
The success of your dropshipping business depends on the suppliers you choose to partner with. You need to trust that they can deliver a quality product in an efficient manner. Communicate with potential suppliers thoroughly and do not rush into any decisions. You also should not feel pressured to partner with a specific supplier.
Take your time in finding a supplier that can meet the needs of your business and your customer. Consider doing a trial run with your final supplier options to see who provides the best service and quality. In the end, these factors will be key to getting happy customers and positive reviews.
Be Prepared to Communicate Internationally
Your suppliers may not reside in the same country as you. It is crucial to maintain open lines of communication and setup processes for getting in touch as needed. Use a VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service, such as Skype, to avoid international calling fees.
Set up regular meetings with your suppliers as well. You need to keep a watchful eye over the products you offer, including cost, inventory, and shipping policies. This time is useful for going over customer reviews. You can talk about what went well and what needs improvement to keep increasing your sales and positive feedback.
Optimize Your eBay Listings
Even though you are not selling the product directly, you should still follow best practices to optimize your eBay listings. The wholesale supplier may provide images, titles, and descriptions for their products, but you should still modify these to work for eBay listings.
Check that all images are high-quality and showcase the product from all angles. If this is not the case, request additional photos from the supplier or take them yourself. Research keywords for the product and incorporate those words or phrases into your listing titles and descriptions. This will help your listings appear higher in eBay searches.
You should also use categories and subcategories that best describe the product. Your products will be found through filtering if you apply the right categories.
Consider Your Profit Margin When Setting Prices
The price range of products you dropship will greatly impact your profits. Items with a lower cost will have lower profit margins, but you may be able to sell more of a specific product. If you are looking for greater profit margins per sale, look for products with a higher selling price.
Setting your listing price needs to be a process you take seriously. It is important to factor in all of your costs in order to make a profit. You cannot simply raise the price of the item based on what you pay the wholesale supplier. Consider the following costs when setting your prices:
- Fees associated with managing your eBay seller account
- Fees associated with promoting your listings
- Cost of time and resources used to source suppliers and products
- Cost of time and resources used to maintain relationships with suppliers and ensure product availability
- Your time spent creating listings and managing listings
- Your time spent monitoring customer feedback and addressing customer inquiries
Each business will have unique costs associated with their operations. You may need to factor in the cost of your internet connection if you are unable to access free WiFi. If you have to take photos for your listings, that is another cost to add-in. Write down all of your individual costs in order to get clarity on the profit margins needed for success.
Promote Your Listings
A lot of wholesale suppliers do not promote their products well due to a lack of funding. You can shift your focus from maintaining inventory to promoting listings once you find the right supplier and product. Share your listings on your own social media accounts and encourage your friends and family to do the same for some free promotion.
If you are interested in paid promotion, you can promote your listings within eBay. You can also purchase Google ads or social media ads to target your audience.
Start Making Money by Dropshipping on eBay!
Now that you know the basics of dropshipping on eBay, you can start formulating your business plan. Set up your eBay account and do your own research on eBay products that sell. Take your time researching suppliers to find a reliable source that meets your needs. You may not be able to offer the trendiest products on eBay, but you can rest assured knowing your products are available.
Over time, you will build a relationship with your suppliers and form a partnership for success. Regularly check in with your supplier through Skype or another VOIP communication method to maintain levels of quality and customer experience. Optimize your listings to perform better in search rankings, and ensure your photos are high-quality. If you are diligent with your dropshipping business and stay active throughout the process, you can find a lot of success on eBay without ever maintaining inventory.